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United States 45, Canada 37, U.s. 30, Us 29, Washington 14, China 12, Iran 11, Israel 10, North Korea 9, America 8, Syria 6, North America 6, Venezuela 5, Asia 4, Obama 4, U.n. 4, California 3, Alberta 3, Alan Simpson 3, Boehner 3,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    February 19, 2013
    5:00 - 8:00pm EST  

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them we are prepared to do this as a way of conditioning the negotiations. but how about on your side? a few things on your side that would make some sense? on syria, i could not agree more that try to solve syria in parallel with the iranian nuclear program -- and why not throw in arab-israeli peace to begin with -- it's just a friend is not to cross and difficult set a promise that i do not think anybody except in the worst nightmare would postulate that kind of scenario. it is true that it is true that they have assets in the assaad regime. they have not yet concluded the assaad regime has something of a half flight, whatever it may be. one thing we could do less of for iran but may be more for russia, which seems to be at
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least aware of the fact that they -- assaad, might have a short half-life is to move over the other side of the fence with brahimi. on our side, this is not a popular view, but to join in with preconditions to negotiations and drop them all, there's no good negotiation, in my view, that starts with the other side requiring it to give up as a consequence. that is not realistic. i do not know why we jump on that? it may have been seen as the one element necessary to keep the syrian obligation together what we tried to move in the other direction, but now that he has made his point of view, we have something of an open door.
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i would verily like to see, and i do not think the iranians would support it come about the humanitarian cease-fire based on the commitments in negotiations. i also have my own doubts as to whether a transitional government makes so much sense and whether we ought not to arrive to elections. the syrian election commission and the u.n. commission election -- election commission might be a better way. we can argue for year-and-a-half about a commission and then have them. we have to get the annan plan somewhere in this mix and that is facilitated by elections but not resolved. those elements, in my view, seem important but i do not think you get them on our side. you could possibly get the
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russians and the chinese. it's worth looking at. it involves all the elements that are out there and it's going to be a very hard approach because no one will sit still for a ceasefire. how to deal with that is a very hard question. it seems to me that it is worth looking at. if you could find a way, maybe with russian and chinese pressure, to begin to diffuse some of their ability to throw hand grenades into the mix of this thing, that would be helpful, but i do not hold out a lot of hopes. interesting set of points. that was such a throw proposal, but i think need to worry about a call from the secretary general. if we look to iran softening their approach to the syrian conflict does something they could do to reassure the u.s. and the international community, it seems to be another clear
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implication of what you are saying is that the u.s. takes further steps to support the syrian opposition it would be read as strengthening their view that we are out to get them. >> we are out to get assaad. are we ipso facto out to get adirondacks -- to get iran? are we going to protect the allies, which is something i think we need to do despite the fact that they have a bad record? no one in syria has a sterling record, but it think we need to give them the opportunity to say there is a news syria forming. do they want to be engaged? what is the relationship there? i'm not very optimistic that we could get the iranians on board, but maybe you could find a way to make them increasingly less
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relevant. do they equate that with a regime change? maybe. we have to be aware of it. i think that's a stretch. i think the iranians could see, what i say is increasing value in the opportunity to talk if they begin to understand that the region is not moving totally in their direction all the time, which i think indeed is the case. >> it's a particular challenge given our domestic politics and the fact that there are those in our own system arguing for greater support for the syrian rebels because they believe in a weakening iran. why don't we open it up at this point for questions from the audience? we've got a lot of folks in the room and i'm going to try to get to as many of you as i can. two rooms that -- two rules that are fundamental at brookings
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events. identify yourself. make it a singular question meeting and has a question mark at the end. let's start here in the second row. >> thanks. barbara from the atlantic council. the question to both of our distinguished speakers. what is going to take to get the ayatollah company to agree on a one-on-one talk? -- khomeni to agree? he does now really rule it out. he hedges that the u.s. needs to be logical insure respect, etc. is there some magic solution to overcome this? or are we just going back to wait until iranian elections to get better put that on the table? >> why don't you try, ken?
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[laughter] >> first, i will answer your specific question. it if you want to be an expert, it's very easy because you need two phrases -- i don't know and it depends. this is one where that applies. i do not know where it's headed or and if it's even possible. theoretically as some threshold where he would be willing to do it, maybe there is no threshold. maybe it exists but it's not realistic for us to ever cross. again, it would realistically make it impossible. in my mind, i'm not convinced that the direct bilateral negotiations are necessary. i think there are a variety of ways to skin and this cat, and i do not think we should make the
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modalities the be all and end all. we should not argue over the size and shape of the table. if the iranians are comfortable in the p5 + 1, then i'm comfortable. they want bilateral, i'm comfortable there. tos going to be hard enough get an agreement we can both agree on and to make the negotiations fruitful and have them proceed to the point where we can get an agreement. i would not want to save where we have to have a bilateral to make this work for we have to make it work, but by the same token, i would not say it has to be able grand bargain are just about the nuclear issue. we need to show flexibility. for me, that is why the focus on the end state, on thinking about the big picture is so important.
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we have to have in our mind, what is it that we're willing to except and what is unacceptable to us? i'm willing to pursue a whole variety of paths as long as they get us to that and state. the path that we take are much less interesting than getting there, because the industry is going to be hard enough. >> just maybe one or two other points. i think it's done a superb job and there's not much more i can do to polish that, but my feeling is he is entirely right. we should not let process be the sole determinant. the process on the other side, the p5 +1, it has problems of personality and internal differences which are only reflected in the usg but could be easier to resolve their than here at the moment.
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second, we have to stick with what we've got and make the best use of it. the notion that the bilateral will be millennial, i think that's wrong. they're not sufficient in the end. even at the end of a very successful bilateral, you would want to go back and maybe then to the security council for some ratification and reinforcement because they are all engaged in this. i think that's important. we ought to be open-minded about the scope of negotiations. i think we should be single- minded about a determination to keep the negotiations process going even if it involves a few extra hours to try and set another time and place or a commitment, if you cannot get the other, that we will come together again fairly soon to move it ahead. we have to respect internal iranian processes, however much we may disparage.
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it is they want to have a new president in place before they undertake difficult negotiations, that is a significant sign that maybe if that process is passed we could get a foot -- a little further. i do not think time is pushing us as rapidly as that. i think it's a good sign that the iranians continue to convert 20% material to metallic powder as opposed to keeping it in-a storm -- in gaseous form. i am persuaded to give you a little bit of extra time and that's helpful. time, openness, ken's principles are all right in trying to deal with this. we should alter the process to suit our needs but it should not become the end all be all of the
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problem. if i could take a shot at the turkey-brazil deal where the process of getting sanctions seem to be more important down the process of getting a preliminary agreement on what to do about some of iran's leu. that was a missed opportunity. >> you raise the issue of calendars and schedules. i think it might be useful for this audience to talk a little bit about the window for diplomacy and what looks like this year. certainly, if we look at what we knew or what we think we know about the rates of enrichment, there were a lot of people saying that by this summer iran would be at a dangerous point in terms of how much more highly enriched uranium had required -- acquired. you noted the presidential transition will not be over
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until the fall. do we need to worry about some of these international actors creating too much pressure on the process? is there a window that is fairly narrow "for beyond unilateral decisions to convert? there are other ways to keep the window open. >> if i were prime minister of israel, i would want to deal with this as soon as i could and i would want the u.s. to attack as rapidly as possible and i would want to stay as far out of it as i could. that is a moving set of timeline. my own sense is the more enriched our uranium they have, the more we have the right to be concerned because it provides for a larger, more rapid breakdown possibility. on the other hand, i don't know. it is like deciding what redlines we have to pass to
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disabuse them of the regime change idea. i don't know the answer to that question. i can see four separate pieces of time somehow bounded by the uncertainties of when we get to a critical amount of material. my own view is the much more critical question is if they take steps to indicate they are moving beyond 20%. since this is all happily under iaea supervision , i would not mind strengthening that, but i would also be very worried as they began to see more material coming out above 20%. i would be very worried if they dismissed the iaea and even more worried if they decided to get out of the treaty with north korea. with our time lines with interior iranian politics, i suppose the run-up to the election, the time when there reveal which candidates are in and out, i guess that is the
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council -- i always get it screwed up. i cannot keep track. during the elections, that will be a harder time. if they are aware of internal politics it will be harder. then after the election and before the inauguration, some argue that could be a window because there is, in effect, no president or a defacto president and then after the new president is in. over the last two years, we have seen what i would call the very clear, not complete growing power of the supreme leader and his decisions even with respect to ahmadinejad. i think he has been a powerful force in driving the supreme leader in that direction, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you want to see that kind of personal government operating in iran. >> we will take a few more down
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in front the weekend at the microphone down there. first row and then the third row. >> thanks very much. i write the mitchell report. i want to follow-up on a comment tamara made about how this has -- it may not rhyme but it echoes the israeli- palestinian situation. and those that because, in the final analysis, it's not clear to me there is anyone who can do a deal on the iranian side who is willing to do a deal. is the ayatollah on steroids? related to that, when we talk about doing a deal with the iranians, do we kid ourselves by making them plural?
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>> who is our interlocator? is it arafat? >> it begins and ends with to the iranians put forward. that is so you're stuck with unless you have more power inside iran than i can see. picking a negotiator has always been a very nice thought and, indeed, it has informed governments from time to time to believe one way or another they could cleverly maneuver that. i don't think it proved to be useful. the second question, you have to live with the government you have. if you feel they will make a deal you cannot deliver, you better be careful about that. on the other hand, if they can make a deal with you that you want, you have to decide between those two stark alternatives and what you are prepared to accept. i've never seen a government come to the negotiating table
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and make a deal that they turned down because they do not think the other side could deliver. it has always carried itself through in the next stage of making it happen. i think we're stuck with that kind of a format and those kinds of arrangements. >> i'm sorry. >> what i was really driving out was something that comes out of the small volume can wrote nine years ago in which he said -- ken wrote 9 years ago in which he determined there was no interest in having a relationship of any sort with the united states. that may be overstating it. it it's interesting who's around the table, but in the final analysis, the only guy who can say yes or no is the ayatollah and he has not been at the table. >> i will go back to the point
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that tom made, which i agree with, it's important at the negotiations because, they may work, and if they do it would be excellent. even if they do not work, they tell us a great deal about the situation we are in. i continue to be very skeptical that the ayatollah, many once a real relationship with us -- ayatollah khomeni wants a relationship. he does not have to like us to recognize it is in his interest to have a better relationship with the rest of the world, if not with us. if he's willing to do what we need him to do, some version of a deal, and a timeline outlining, i'm perfectly content to deal with it. in terms of whether or not they will live up to it, my sense of the iranians is that they are
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not going to agree to something and they're not actually willing to go ahead with it. they do not seem to be the north koreans who will make a deal and immediately reneged on it. the iranians continue to stiff the iaea as opposed to the north koreans to tell them whatever the heck they want and the moment they it left, they do what they want. that says something different about the iranians. at the end of the day, the last piece of this, which is critical, is the fact that what has to happen for this deal to work for us is very extensive, very intrusive monitoring and inspection. if they are not willing to go along with it, the deal comes apart immediately. if they do, that tells us and they're willing to abide. we do not have to trust them to do the right then. >> can i make three quick
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points? we put a lot of pressure on them to make a deal. we know the drinking poison statement at the end of the iraq-iran war, secondly they do not have to become our best friends. obviously that's a more difficult problem, as the question goes ahead. it's something that we do not have to count on in many ways. it would be nice, but i don't think it's necessarily the way in which things have to develop. those two pieces are important. the third is that we have had deals in the past. more or less, we have stuck with them. in fact, there have been occasions under which, despite hints conclusions, but i do not support them, but i reductor
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read his book again to make sure i'm correct in my non-support of his ideas, but this is not something that is so completely strange. finally, the point about north korea and iran is interesting. the comparison to the arab- israeli question is interesting. the major point of comparison as we all know what the deal could look like. since we are not in ronny hands, we believe it is perfectly splendid because it is a win-win for both sides. secondly, we all believe is the personalities and their differences, their internal arguments, their internal concerns that keep them from making the deal at the table. the third point, i think, is an interesting one. sometimes, i still make the point that there is a third issue about the arab-israeli peace process. the only thing harder than getting an agreement between the
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arabs and the israelis is to figure out a way for the process to go away completely, finally, and never to return. >> a very good point. i think what we will do since there are a lot of hands up as we will take a couple of questions at a time and then we will come back out. >> and got to the hard ones. >> keep your questions as brief as you can -- and dodge the hard ones. >> mr. pollack, the talk about the iranian's need to trust the u.s., that they will not help overthrow the iranian government. use a holding meetings with o the with appearsf mek -- with members of the mek. would that convince the iranian regime that this will also be to their benefit or not? >> again, our own divided
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government, how does it affect the equation? let's go right here. >> thank you. in my dealing with the iranians, they care more about the matter principle. if you want to have a deal, you have to acknowledge their rights. technology and their rights means that there remember of the committee and they're able to do whatever is needed. i would claim that if you want to have a deal, you have to a knowledge at the beginning that they have rights. then, my understanding is that lots of things can happen.
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the last thing i think is interesting in iran is that we were ready to suspend it in richmond for one hour. there's the possibility of mediation, but you have to give them their rights. i would like to ask the question. first of all, what can you do here in the u.s. to promote the idea that somehow we have to of knowledge their rights. this can be perceived as a defeat. i think it is a necessary defeat. then, the point is how then can year we address the issue of the sanctions anyway which is progressive, step-by-step? i think if you do this, then the issue of a regime change would be, in a sense, secondary.
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this would prove that the authority is respected and this would induce the idea that the regime change is not such a big deal. for americans, how can you make the political system here acknowledge their former -- their basic rights? >> for those of you who were not able to hear, it was another question about how american domestic politics relate to the initiation and if it's possible to form political consensus in the u.s. that on with the iranians view as their clear right and their minimum for a deal including the right to enrich, which both of you addressed a bit in our discussion earlier, but the domestic politics year, for the united states, they are not simple. how do we tackle this.
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this is something, one of the reasons why you have been doing a lot of this work. >> the mek was a bad decision, a dumb idea. it was presumably don for lots of extraneous reasons to iran. we now have another barrier to cross with the supreme leader. only through conversations and then actions can you get there. it's the same problem as having vice-president biden in munich talking about tightening of sanctions. we need more syncopation or more appreciation of the interrelationships. on the right to enrich, i'm perfectly happy to do it. not that the u.s., by any stretch of the imagination, is the authority that of the rise of the right to enrich under anything else.
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it's an exercise in the legitimate and grandiosity. if that's what they want, we should be able to say it. our problem is that they are not in good standing with the iaea yet. while, that's a diversionary problem, what they did in 2003, i hope they would not do that again. they would like to have a truth commission on that and get it out of the way, but it's not a primary question to the results for the future so much it is to clean up the past the little bit, like sweeping up after the horses in the memorial day parade, it's got to be done. it's a cloud over the right to and rich in terms of standing. how do we deal with the security council? the notion that iran can pick and choose it security council resolutions is not a happy notion. it is not of the character, i
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suppose, in the threat of a regime change but it has some of the same kind of nonchalance about what mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable that the iranians also need to realize as they go into negotiations that there are two sides to the issue. one side and shrines there great morale and moral principles house and necessary to kowtow to them in order to begin the process, but we would have the right on our side to expect something equal, reciprocal, and opposite. toomey, neither of these preconditions make a lot of sense, but i would be very happy to say, if we have a deal and your civilian program is going ahead, we of course recognize your right to have a civil nuclear program. dominate to do now is to define that program. once they're over the hurdle of no enrichment or some
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enrichment, we're over the hurdle of being able to do that. as it can points out, we may not yet be over that particular hurdle. -- as ken points out, we may not yet over that period or some people are willing to sell that hurdle. >> i think you have me confused with someone else. maybe the other pollack in town. on the issue of trust and regime change, it's a little different than what you expressed. i'm not sure we will ever be able to get the compakhomeni to trust us. it that's the case, one of two things will happen. i'm willing to do something to convince some of that, but as tom keep suggesting, it's an important one. the problems are not all on the u.s., but there are equal or greater problems on the iranian
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side. we do not need to be twisting ourselves into pretzels and expect them to do nothing. either we do not get a deal if they do not trust us, ok. that's a shame. it would be awful, but at least we have some clarity. that clarity is important and sorely lacking. alternatively, it may be that the iranians, the supreme leader will realize that if he is afraid of a regime change, the smartest thing you can do is to make a deal because the sanctions are crippling iran. their breeding enormous internal discontent and creating an atmosphere where there are a lot of groups who are unhappy and a lot of people outside looking in saying the sanctions have not succeeded in convincing the iranians, so what is the next thing we can do? the regime changes the next obvious thing. if they are willing to make a deal, it seems they are hell bent to get this capability,
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then by god we have to get rid of this regime. if khomeni was smart, if he was concerned about the regime change, this should be the smartest thing he could do. it's essential for him to do so. >> i think tom's points are excellent. what's important for us is, i think the united states is going back to recognize that if we're going have to get this deal with iran, we're going to have to let them crow about it. they're going have to be able to declare victory, which and the importance element coming from your point about principle. i'd hate to get into some kind of a fight where american and iranian politicians heard the deal because both sides want to claim victory and that the other side lost. it the american administration is going have to say, we both won. it has to be win-win. we have to let them announce to the world that they did succeed in defending their rights.
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you know what? that's what they need? fine. i want to make sure we have a limit on the program so that they cannot move beyond what they have. >> ok, let's take a question in the very back corner there. then right in front of him. >> why do we care so much about iran and not more about north korea? [laughter] >> pass the microphone to the gentleman in front of you. >> edward levine, retired staff from the senate foreign relations committee. i wonder with the indications are, if any, for iran and the process of the secretary general's comments to the washington post last week. >> two good, model questions in
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terms of their brevity. the question also raises the issue of proliferation in the region. one reason the obama administration says the iranian nuclear capability is such a threat is because it would cascade to proliferation around the middle east, but love it if you could address that as well. >> i will answer the questions posed very quickly. i am just a dot middle east expert. this session on iran is talking about iran, but i have a great deal of sympathy for the sentiment. i do believe north korea is a very big problem. we often have the debate if iran is irrational. from what i understand about north korea, you could barely fill a symbol. my sense is they are not always entirely rational either and there are some things going on in that regime that could lead them to do things that are
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irrational and that worries me enormously. the issue of proliferation gets to north korea as well. proliferation is a very big concern about iran's nuclear ization. it is one reason i suggested it's better that if we do not have to continue going down this road and if they never crossed the with the position threshold -- teh weaponization threshold. there is a hysteria on both sides. yes, proliferation is a very real problem. by the same token, i do not expect the entire region will go nuclear the day after they proliferate. saudi arabia is by far the biggest problem. they're very fearful of the iranians and they have a whole list of the rationale for why it makes sense for them to have a nuclear capability the day after.
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that said, even within saudi arabia, there are disincentives and all kinds of things that they can do. i have an arrangement with the pakistan a. they can proliferate opaquely or do things to make people wonder if they have acquired the capability without crossing the threshold. they're very clever about this type of thing. we do not give them enough credit. in the 1980's we antimissile wars between iran and iraq. everyone wanted ballistic missiles. the saudis go out very quietly and they buy nuclear capable chinese missiles. nobody knows whether they got a nuclear warhead. most of us believe the probably did not, but they never answered the question. they assured us by making warm and fuzzy noises, but they never said categorically that the would not do so.
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that ambiguity is very important. the uae has their own reasons, but who knows. turkey? certainly some risk there, but there nato membership is very big. egypt i think is the worst case. egyptians have a lot of other problems on their plate. if they did not proliferate because of israel, it seems they would be unlikely to do so because of a rock. proliferation absolutely is an issue. it's a very big issue. it's one reason why it would be much better that the iranians never acquire this capability. by the same token, we should not push that too far and suddenly assume the entire region will explode into nuclear proliferation, the crisis, and a war thereafter. president kennedy famous a predicted we would live in a war of 25 nuclear -- a world of 25 nuclear states and it still a lot has come to pass.
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there are strong disincentives, but to go about your starting point, proliferation as a problem especially when it comes to countries like north korea. >> of the north korea-iran question, i am concerned about the dichotomy of feeling. north korea has a different set of relationships. as i mentioned earlier, they have enormous capability to do very serious damage without the use of nuclear weapons to south korea. that would be a huge mess. it lives next to a very large country that looks at north korea as a buffer arrangement which keeps coming for the moment, of style, semi house style, or potentially antagonistic, or even just friendly -- hostile, semi- hostile, or potentially
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antagonistic people at their border. we do not have enough conversation with the chinese over the future of the peninsula and i think there are a few important steps to be made. we're not yet where we are in syria. thank god. but we are not yet where we are in syria into terms of the conversations they will have to deal with inevitable change in the future. however, if that happens, i cannot see the supreme leader being radically comfortable with the notion that the wonderful regime in p'yongyang is no more. and that there is some new perhaps more benign, more helpful, more united korea in the future which i think we are all pledged to without being specific about what the overall formation might be like. be careful what you wish for. it has unintended potential
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consequences that need to be looked at very carefully. the second point on proliferation, i agree with ken. and perhaps him a little more concerned that were iran to go, the impulse would increase. one only has to see in the last two years the sudden interest in civil nuclear power programs in some of the oil-rich and non-oil-rich nations of the region to be concerned, but it's a great idea for us to get the 123 agreement with them to try to nail it down. i think it's a very interesting question out there that has pros and cons of significance. should we begin to find a way to strengthen the kind of security assistance and assurances we're prepared to provide under the npt to states that might, in the future, be threatened, but are
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not now, and how and in what way should we deploy that? it would have, in my view, for the right agreement with iran some potential, even if it is seemingly millenial now. but we have to be careful. we have seen in the neighborhood a problem for iran, at least with respect to whether nuclear steps. is iran, in fact, responding? a country that does not admit they have any interest creating weapons is a hard country to pin down why they might want them. is there a role in the united states for strengthening those assurances? or are we now so close to the new idea of containment that is basically seemingly to permit iran to go nuclear and then deal with the aftermath through deterrence and other relationships that we are now blocked from adopting elements
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that might otherwise be useful but could be seen or misinterpreted as to swing, pivot to marie balance toward containment? these are all questions that are out there that need to be a part of the dialogue and about which i think there are no really rapidly available have the answers. -- happy answers. >> the u.n. secretary general has had a happy time of it. he went to tehran and met with the supreme leader but then made some very critical comments. how is he trying to position himself here? >> he is simply trying position himself strongly in favor nonproliferation regardless of the need in his part to stay in touch with all member states. he has donned a ways to step over that bridge without having 1 foot stop on either side. so far, ok.
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>> this is just a balancing act? >> he can disagree with the member states who seemingly are acting against -- how many members are there? 190 something? 194 members in the u.n., so it's a very universal agreement. >> i think we have time for one more very quick round. in the center here, the gentleman in the tan jacket. and then the lady two rows behind you. >> visiting professor of israeli politics at george washington. strangely enough, have a question about how israel fits into this. president obama will be visiting israel very soon. we talk about the 20% in richmond deal. the conversation hinges on the
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other side of that, the credibility of the united states if a deal does not go along the lines of using military force. the big deal is to do with the trigger. what would trigger that? i'd like to hear your opinions on the visit and what you think of that debate. >> thank you very much. >> recent graduate of johns hopkins. thank you for being here. i have 1 million questions but i will stick to one and it has to do with power players. the current government is very right wing. every government has talks. of these factions and other factions engaged in nuclear energy or isolated with nuclear weapons? what does the next possible generation of power players feel about this if we assume that a
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regime change does not happen? and that assumes, if we get one, in new ayatollah. >> even more brutal hypocrisies have domestic politics. >> why don't they start? i will take those in reverse order. these are huge, multiple questions and i wish we had more time to really deal with them. to ask about iranian politics going forward, i don't know and it depends. it's important to remember that because we have such limits on their understanding of iran. what's more, iranian politics are such that it's very hard to know which direction they're going to develop in, especially when you start projecting into the future beyond this supreme leader. i come back to a point that, made that i will echo. i don't know what the answer to it is, but i think we have to find out. part of what we need to be doing is trying to show the iranians
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that there is a path whereby they can obtain at least they're minimal objectives, as long as they do not include things like trying to destroy the united states of america, israel, saudi arabia, other friends of ours. then they can obtain their minimal objectives through its half of compromise and negotiating settlements in these disputes. i don't know whether that's possible, but it think it's critical the united states explore that and we put on the table a deal that the iranians ought to be able to accept because it is consistent with at least their declared statements. that will at least give us some insight. it's a pleasure to meet you. i'm a great admirer of your work. i wish i had time to explain it. i will talk with you outside. i think a good barack had it right. -- ehud had it right.
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israel entered that zone. it is not to say that they did not have a military option. it is simply to say their military operation, which was always going to be difficult, has become much more so. that military option will persist until iran feels an arsenal. as far as i'm concerned, as long as they don't feel an arsenal, the israeli trigger is elastic. they can go tomorrow, two years from tomorrow, as long as they have not cleared the arsenal. and does that affect their ability to do what damage they can. ultimately their ability to do that damage is limited. it's the same for the united states. as long as the mops can clean it up, pardon the pun, of we have until they feel the weapon and that means we have quite a bit of time. that's not to say they will have a problem with what the
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government is doing. while i always do not like the way the israeli government does it, i recognize israel has played a very important role in keeping international focus on iran. had they not done that over the last 10 years, the world would have forgotten about them along time ago and we would be living with a nuclear iraq. >> it suggests one trigger may be the removal of material. >> let me do the two questions in the same order. ken's right. in simple terms, a proposal on the table to iran, which essentially does what iran continues to claim that it once -- wants, is not capitulation in my view. it's something we can live with particularly if we both agreed, as we do, on the value of inspections and the strengthening of the inspection
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system. let me leave it there. following the various courses of action and trying to decide who is on top of where is an eminently respectable and extremely valuable profession. the real problem is that it has not given us those scintillating measures about the insight that would help us in the negotiating process and a way to get it through. it has moved as in the direction in which i think ken and i agree that we have put something on the table that we think has a reasonable chance of succeeding if which protect our important interest and which, in fact, gets us close to meeting what they continually say they want. if they don't take what they want, then we have a different problem and we need to look at it quickly. that takes us to israel. this little book came to the conclusion that, as of this
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summer, the zones of impunity, community, whatever, aside, israel had a capacity probably in the neighborhood of the delay of the iranian program for two years and in the last four years, maybe a little more. they're related to different styles of attack, different capacities, different times for the duration of an attack and everything else. none of them, in any book i've ever read it, short of a permanent occupation on the ground has the capacity to stop forever. so the first thing we have is the military is a temporary solution. the notion that maybe something will turn up is a temporary solution with a lot of very serious drawbacks and that's one reason why it's on the table but not rapidly being used. from what the president has
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said, without his accepting the challenge to draw his red line in specific time-bound times, he is basically saying that if iran is going ahead to make a nuclear weapon, we think we would know about it, and i think there are reasons to believe that, then he would be prepared to use military force. he did not say he would use military force first. there may well be. he would want to do before military force depending on judgments about time. they all relate to the questions to which you know, when you know, and how you are prepared to take advantage. he has rejected pretty well the notion that, as israel the ostensibly lose his capability to achieve the two years or begins to lose capability to get to two years, from his point of view, that is not a reasonable comer rational -- reasonable,
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rational trigger on behalf of the united states. he's made that very clear. the prime minister expect that -- accepted that in his u.n. speech where he put that time delay in. we are now facing the end of a nominal delay. are we again going to argue about time and military force and when to use it? i have no idea. a lot will depend on the visit. i'm delighted the visit is taking place. as you know, i was ambassador to israel. it was a logical and important first step taken something that i believe was missing from the equation which should have been there early. but i'm delighted it's taking place now and it presents another opportunity, not to resolve all problems and difficulties, but clearly to see the kind of tenuous and motives we have to not be continued.
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on the time side, there is, one, a clear commitment against a weapon. on the other side, there's no clear commitment that this has to take place by a date certain. this seems to be the essence of the deal at a certain time. my feeling is that helpful and will continue to hold things. frequent forays into aggressive military stances without reducing -- producing a result is like a frequent predictions that the bomb will be in their hands next year. each one of these has been right only in so far that and has been repeated on a regular basis. let me leave it there. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join me in thanking tom pickering and ken pollack for this fantastic discussion. we will see you next week. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> in up in just over an hour, we hear from canadians as to the
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u.s. and former deputy prime minister and a discussion about u.s.-canada relations looking at issues of trade, border security, and energy exploration, particularly completion of the cross-border keystone pipeline. over on c-span2, in 35 minutes, former cia director michael hayden discussing how digital media has transformed intelligence gathering and also discussing cyber attacks and news reports this week and of the chinese army tied to a large number of cyber attacks on the u.s. coming up at 6:30 p.m. eastern live on c-span2. >> the communism of china is communism in name only these days. it is to preserve the power of the members of the communist party. they have basically thrown out most ideologies aside and it has now become a capitalist haven.
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communism now in china, they talked about marxism, leninism, but it's all about preserving their power economically. they threw aside most benefits of communism in a long time ago. in north korea, it is all about preserving the power of the military and the kim dynasty, as you have. it has nothing to do with what karl marx envisioned as communism. someone could do fascinating books on when communism moved into asia merged into something different in vietnam, cambodia, laos. then the communism in the eastern european countries, it is a fascinating split. >> former correspondent for ", washington "" keith richburg on 40 years of reporting and in sites around the world sunday at 8:00 on "q&a."
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>> congress is out this week, but today president obama record as a president -- congressional republicans to accept more tax revenue to avoid the looming tax cuts, the sequester, set to hit march 1st. he spoke to people at the white house for about 15 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. good morning, everybody. please have a seat. welcome to the white house. as i said in my state of the union address, our top priority should be doing everything we can to grow the economy and create good jobs. that is our top priority and it drives every decision we make and it has to drive the decisions that congress and everybody in washington makes over the next several years.
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that is why it is so troubling that 10 days from now congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. it will not help the economy. it will not create jobs. it will visit hardship on a lot of people. here is what is at stake. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficit i more than $2.5 trillion. more than two thirds of that was through some really tough spending cuts. the rest of it was through raising taxes, tax rates on the wealthiest 1% of americans. together, when you take the spending cuts and increased tax rates on the top 1%, it puts us halfway to the goal of four dollars trillion -- $4 trillion in deficit reduction.
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thomas say we needed to stabilize finances. -- economists say we need it. congress also passed a law in 2011 saying that if both parties cannot agree agree on a plan to achieve that goal, about one trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would take effect this year. and the design was to make and the design was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that democrats and republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. so, this was all designed to say we cannot do these bad cuts, let's do something smarter. that was the point of this so- called sequestration. unfortunately, congress did not compromise. they had to come together -- have not come together to do their job and we have these
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brutal cuts poised to happen next friday. if congress allows this meat cleaver approach takes place, it will this a rate investments in education and medical research, and it will not consider whether we are cutting a bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that americans depend on every single day. it does not make those decisions. emergency responders, like the ones that are here today, their ability to help will be degraded. border patrol agents will see their hours reduced. fbi agents will be furloughed. federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. air traffic controllers and
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airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays in airports across the country. thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids. hundreds of thousands of americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. already, the threat of these cuts has forced the navy to delay and at craft carrier that was supposed to deploy today persian gulf. as military leaders have made clear, changes like this, not well thought through, not phased and properly, affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world. these cuts are not smart, not fair, will hurt our economy and add hundreds of thousands of americans to unemployment rolls.
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this is not an abstraction. people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might take up again. that is why democrats, the republicans, business leaders and economists have already said that these cuts are a bad idea. they are not good for our economy. they are not how we should run our government. here is the thing, they do not have to happen. there is a smarter way to reduce deficits without harming our economy, congress has to act in order for that to happen. now, for two years i have offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts. i outlined it again last week at the state of the union. i am willing to cut more spending that we do not need. get rid of programs that are not working.
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i have laid out specific reforms to entitlement programs that could achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. i am willing to save hundreds of billions of dollars by enacting comprehensive tax reform that gets rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected without raising tax rates. i believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with additional spending to form done in a smart, thoughtful way is the best job to finish the job of deficit reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery and put people out of work. most americans agree with me. now, the house and the senate are working on budgets that i
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hope reflect this approach. if they can not get such budget agreement done by next friday, the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect, then, at minimum, congress should pass a smaller package that would prevent the harmful cuts, not to kick the can down the road come a but to give them time to work on a plan that finishes the job of deficit reduction in a sensible way. the democrats in the house and the senate have proposed such a plan, a balanced plan that pairs spending cuts with tax reform, and closes loopholes to make sure billionaires cannot pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. i know republicans have proposed plans as well, but so far they
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ask nothing of the wealthiest americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is on first responders, seniors, or middle-class families. they doubled down, in fact, on the heart -- harsh, harmful cuts that i outlined. they slash medicare and in vestments in middle class jobs. so far what they have expressed is a preference where they would rather have these cuts go into effect then close a single tax loophole for the wealthiest americans -- not one. that is not balanced. that is like democrats saying we have to close deficits without any spending cuts. that is not the position democrats or i have taken. it is wrong to ask the middle class to bear the full burden of deficit reduction and that is why i will not sign a plan that
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harms the middle class. so, now republicans in congress face the choice -- are they willing to compromise to protect vital investment in education, healthcare, national security and all the jobs that depend on them, or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our economy at risk to protect a few tax loopholes that benefit the largest corporations and wealthiest americans. that is the choice. do you want to see first responders lose their jobs to protect special interest tax loopholes? are you willing to have teachers laid off were kids not have access to -- or kids not have access to headstart, or deeper cuts in student loan programs just to protect a special interest tax loophole that the vast majority of americans do not benefit from?
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that is the choice. that is the question. this is not an abstraction. there are people's lives at stake, communities that will be impacted in a negative way, and a lot of times this squabbling in washington seems abstract, and in the abject people like the idea -- there must be spending we could cut, waste out there. there absolutely is, but this is not the right way to do it. my door is open. i put tough cuts and reforms on the table. i am willing to work with anybody to get this job done. none of us will get 100% of what we want, but nobody should want the cuts to go through because the last thing our families can afford right now is paying imposed unnecessarily by ideological rigidity here in
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washington. the american people have worked too hard, too long, rebuilding from one crisis to seek elected officials cause another one, and it seems like every three months there is a manufactured crisis. we have more work to do than to just try to dig ourselves out of self-inflicted wounds. while a plan to reduce our deficit has to be part of the agenda, but deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. we learned in the 1990's when bill clinton was president that nothing shrieks of deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. that should be the focus, they can america a magnet for good jobs and equipping our people with the skills required to fill
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those jobs and that their hard work leads to a decent living. those are the things we should push ourselves to think about every day. that is what the american people expect. that is what i will work on every single day to help deliver. i need everybody who is watching today to understand we have a few days. congress could do the right thing. we could avert just one more washington-manufactured problem that slows our recovery and that would do right by first responders, america's middle class, and what i will be working and fighting for over the next few weeks and years. thank you very much, everybody. thank you for your service. [applause]
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>> congress is out this week, but congressional leaders
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issued statements, including house speaker john boehner. he said this -- senate minority leader mitch mcconnell also issued a statement -- jay carneytary answered questions about immigration and gun control. >> thank you for being here. welcome to the white house briefing. we'll go straight to the associated press. >> the president outlined some pretty dire consequences if this a question took effect. the consequences are dire, why has he not hit up the phone to
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talk to leaders about supporting the democrats plan? >> we are in regular communication with congress about a variety of topics that are high priorities for the president, including the need to ensure that washington does not manufacture a crisis that put hundreds of thousands of people 's jobs at risk. this is a simple thing. it is a complicated subject over all, but a simple thing. congress needs to act to make sure that we do not allow the so-called sequester to take effect. it is unnecessary. it is a self-inflicted wound on the economy. there are ample ways to do this that democrats have put forward legislation that would postpone
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the sequester until the end of the year in a balanced way. we have done this before a few months ago. republicans supported it then. there is no reason why we cannot do it again to allow congress the time to work on the regular led to torry -- legislative process. >> but it is a question of why the staff is not in communication with the top republicans in the senate on the issue. >> we are in regular communication on a variety of topics. i do not have any calls or communications to read out, but this is not complicated. the broader issue of further deficit reduction in a balanced way will require time. that is why it is important that congress moves forward with a temporary postponement of the sequester. the consequences of not doing that would be catastrophic.
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>> should the sequester take effect, i know the president and the government have outlined some severe consequences, good the economy handle the sequester? >> we believe it would be negatively affect did -- affe cted. there is no question that it would be a setback to recovery and slowdown. creation. if we have one fundamental goal in washington, it should be to work toward growing the economy and increasing job creation and not doing unnecessary things to halt or reverse that process. we have calculated specific effects of the sequester it it would take effect. i do not think you will find anyone that i have seen anyway that would suggest that the
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effects would not be negative. >> is there a timeline for when you would put forward the president's immigration bill? >> we have not identified a specific date. he is focused on the senate moving on a bipartisan effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform. he supports that effort. he has made clear that if that effort fails, it august halts, he is prepared to submit his own legislation in the senate -- if progress halted, he is prepared to submit to own legislation in the senate. if progress is made, continue for it to move forward to a point where it was produced, it could be voted on. it could get to his desk for his signature. one of the things we have seen
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in the recent months is that there is a real convergence of positions between the president and both democrats and republicans in the senate on how we should move forward. the blueprint the president has had online since one to 11 outlined his for comprehensive immigration reform. it is reflected in the proposals and ideas that senator rubio, for example, has discussed. the president remains hopeful that the senate will move forward. it is his preference that is what will happen. >> early march is a possible benchmark for when he wants to see the senate move forward. >> we have not set a date. we are looking for progress. what we have seen is that senators are involved in this
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effort and have been talking about march. that would be a good and welcome thing. the president is interested in progress being made. it is important and significant work that needs to be done. we have not set a deadline. we are focused on working with the senate and those members who want to put together a package and earn bipartisan support. as long as that progress continues, we remain hopeful they will produce a bill that the president can sign. >> simpson-bowles -- there is a new plan for over 10 years. there be health care and tax reforms. where does the president stand on this? >> alan simpson and erskine bowles, the cochairman of the
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fiscal commission today once again obliterated the argument put forward by republicans that we should pursue further deficit reduction in a balanced way. no one who has addressed this issue credibly and seriously has come up with a plan that does not include the essential challenge that the president supports. that includes erskine bowles and alan simpson and both the work that they did on the commission and but they put forward again today. so, the president believes that bipartisan panels and groups and so on agree that we need to do this in a balanced way. that is the responsible way to reduce our deficit and reach that goal of at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years.
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it was stabilize our fiscal situation. it would put us on a fiscally sustainable path. that is why the president pass in every -- has in every effort put forward a balanced plan that includes both spending cuts and revenues. he insists we do this anyway that is fair to senior citizens and middle-class families and others so that we do not ask those groups of americans to bear the burden of deficit reduction while saying that the wealthy individuals and corporations can not be touched. that is the approach that republicans have taken all along with regards to the sequester. if their position hold, they would rather see hundreds of thousands of americans have their jobs threatened, have our
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national security in danger, then asked wealthy corporations and individuals to forsake some loopholes in the tax code. that is a tough position to sell. >> does the president support the specifics of the updated plan? >> the president has his own plan. theas been clear are. proposals and the counteroffers he has made in the negotiations with the speaker late last year , the leftover portions remain on on the table and are available for action today. there has to be balance. it has to include the kind of tax reform that produces revenue that speaker boehner himself embraced dust a few months ago, but suddenly has
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decided it is bad policy or unnecessary. they would rather see seniors foot the bill are middle-class families trying to send their kids to college or see first responders lose their jobs. that is all a seat. the president is not supported. >> i understand you will not announce -- make any announcements. you are saying that that resident's door is open. -- president's door is open. what about getting the vice president involved? >> the president and the vice president and the senior members of the administration are actively engaged with congress on a variety of legislative priorities, including the need to avoid the sequester and the
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need to achieve further balance deficit reduction, country hands of immigration reform, and reducing gun violence. -- comprehensive immigration reform, and reducing gun violence. when it comes to avoiding sequester, we are down to 10 days. the options are clear -- do what democrats have proposed, which is postpone the sequester by a certain amount of time the reductions in the deficit that are achieved in a balanced way to revenue and cuts, or embrace the republican position which is to say that it is better for all of those negative effects to take place and the sequester is implemented then to ask corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies to give up their
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special tax breaks that average americans do not enjoy. that is bad policy. >> why doesn't the president calls speaker boehner? >> his door is open. there was a refusal at the leadership level to accept the basic principles of balance. they would rather adopt a position that says that seniors have to bear the burden, middle- class families have to bear the burden, the wealthiest individuals and corporations will be held harmless, and if you do not adopt that extremist position, the sequester will go into effect with all of the harmful impacts the president detailed today. the door is open, but balance is essential. balance is what bipartisan panels have always recommended. it is what economists essays -- say is necessary.
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we should not allow the economy to be held hostage. that is bad for the economy and the middle class. >> everyone agrees that sequester is a bad idea. but didn't the idea of the sequester originate the white house? >> here is the fundamental fact -- during the debt ceiling negotiations, because republicans refuse to embrace balance and refuse to join hands with the president and pursue a grand bargain, there was an absolute necessity to avoid a default. both sides were looking for trigger mechanisms to help make this package possible. the sequester was something that was discussed. it was an idea that the white house put forward because it was put forward by republican senators back in the 1980s as
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part of a deal. there is a history to this. let's be clear -- republicans embrace this. every member voted for it. nearly 2-1. on the day it passed, the house speaker said he got 98% of what he wanted and and that he was pretty happy. issue here is that the sequester was designed never to be taken into effect. it was supposed to force congress to make choices about how to deal with the deficit in a way that would allow us to avoid the sequester, the devastating cuts that it represents. unfortunately, republicans have thus far refused to go along with the fundamental principle of balance. we need to do this with spending cuts and entitlement reforms and revenue.
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in the back. >> there was another tragic shooting in chicago a few days ago. it was a young girl. i am wondering if there is any reaching out to her family? the funeral has not happened yet. any message in the wake of another horrific shooting? >> i do not have any communications to report to you. this is another tragic example of a young life being taken away by the scourge of gun violence in this country. it is a reminder of why we need to act together here in washington to do everything that we can to reduce gun violence, to do it in a way that respects our second amendment rights, but to take necessary action to reduce the scourge.
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it is taking too many lives in america. >> are there any communications? >> i do not have anything on that right now. >> when you said the president's door is open, is there anything -- why does he not knock on their door? >> we have been clear on our position. we have supported the bills that have been put forward by the senate democrats and house democrats. when we talk about leadership and doing the responsible thing , as the president said, if you accept the basic premise that democrats -- what have the democrats done?
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what has the president? put proposals forward that include not just about the news, but proposals that would reduce our deficit. the president has put forward proposals that have cut spending him including through entitlement reforms. thus far, the president and senator simpson and since c senr bowles have seen deficit reduction. it has not always been pretty. the president signed into law more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction. more than two thirds of that have come through spending cuts. we need balance. his door is open. what we have not seen from republicans is a proposal that reflects the essential ingredients of balance. we know that they want to dr. rice medicare. -- voucherize medicare.
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they want to ask seniors to foot the bill. that is bad policy. it is bad for the middle class. what they should do is take their cue from senator simpson and senator bowles and others who have said that balance is the way we need to move forward. we would welcome that in the overall tackling of the problem. >> they are working with congress on these priorities. that just means congressional democrats, right? where have you worked with republicans? >> we have been working with every member's office that is involved in the gang of 8 process. the president made -- met with the democrats. our communication will continue. we are engaged with congress,
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members of both parties on a variety of issues and all the priorities the president has put forward. let's be clear -- the problem is not a lack of meetings around the table. we saw that in the summer of 2011 when the speaker of the house decided not to pursue the grand bargain. we saw it again in december when the speaker walked away from what was by any measure a fair compromise that the president put forward to come halfway on both revenue and spending. unfortunately, the speaker walked away from that effort. we have put forward a number of proposals. we will continue to work with members of congress. the senate and the house need to act to avoid the sequester.
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those who are affected the most are middle-class families across the country. >> you said that you have talked with members of the republicans on immigration. senator rubio's office said that they have never discussed immigration policy with anyone in the white house. >> we have been in contact with everyone involved in this effort on capitol hill. you are reading to me from a blackberry. >> it is an iphone. >> iphone 5? >> iphone 4s. >> any meetings to avoid the spending cuts? >> in the summer of 2011 and at the end of last year, the conversations that took place with the speaker and some were
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secret and not because he wanted them to be secret. i'm not suggesting anything of what is happening now. we do not always advertise every meeting we have with congress. we are mindful of the request of others as well as our own interest. the president's interest is to make sure that congress acts to avoid the unnecessary, indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts that are represented by the sequester. congress needs to do the responsible thing and adopt a package that postpones the sequester so congress can work on a broader deficit reduction plan that is part of the budget process. there is no reason to do that in a different manner. there's no reason to inflict this wound on the economy. this deadline is manufactured.
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it can be postponed. it was in december. by doing that, we allow more time to pursue the goal of achieving the finishing of the job of the $4 trillion goal outlined for many years as what we need to do over 10 years in deficit reduction. we can do that. the president has put forward a plan that does that and includes revenues and spending cuts in entitlement reforms. what we have not seen from republicans is a plan that includes revenues and spending cuts in entitlement reforms. if you're talking about compromise and leadership and you accept the premise that it is harder to go along with entitlement reforms and cuts to spending programs, let's accept that premise. what has the president and what have the democrats done? what forward proposals that have more savings from cuts and has increases in revenue.
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but we have not seen from republicans -- the american people insist that would compromise. >> we hear about draconian cuts and border controls being furloughed and kids been cut from headstart. can't we find some way without those draconian cuts? >> there is no way to do this -- $85 billion over that short window of time. the implementation of these cuts would not have the draconian effect. everyone who has spoken about this has made clear that would happen. the fact is that the sequester was written precisely because the cuts would be onerous and
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acceptable to both sides. -- unacceptable to both sides. it is supposed to compel congress to act to sponsor believe and compromise and achieve deficit reduction to compromise that is necessary to put us on a sustainable path. there has been an adamant refusal i republicans to -- by republicans to agree to deficit reduction. it is a reduction that the american people support. >> the house speaker released a statement by saying that the american people understand that the revenue debate is closed. we should close loopholes. we should lower rates across the board. we to boost job creation in america. we cannot enable more washington spending. spending is a problem. >> the speaker is
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misunderstanding the proposition. they want to reduce the deficit. as i understand it, that is the number one goal. what the speaker put forward or said he was willing to put forward was up to $800 billion in revenue that would go toward deficit reduction. there would be closing of loopholes. the president agrees that we ought to close those loopholes and reductions and reform the tax code in a way that would make it more balanced and more fair. end these taxpayer subsidies to companies and individuals because their accountants have a different relationship than the average american.
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the goal is deficit reduction. the goal is achieving it in a balanced way. the president has signed $2.5 trillion in spending reduction. his proposal is still on the table. if the speaker took that up and embraced balance, we would take that deal. we need to get this done. we need to do it in a way that the american people support. >> i would like to read you something from alan simpson. " regarding entitlement reform, the president will have no legacy at all if he cannot cut the mustard in social security under honest appraisals of the trustees and cannot get a handle on health care spending, he will have a field presidency ."
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do you agree or disagree? >> he has passed and affordable health care act -- >> i'm talking about what has already been proposed. it sounds to me like he does not think it is enough. >> you're quoting to me something i will take your word for it is accurate. we need to pass further entitlement reform. we need to do it in a way -- edwin agrees that is the main driver of our long-term deficit the challenge -- it needs to reduce our health care costs and does not shift costs to seniors. it is unfair to seniors and does not make sense economically. we need to take actions that reduce healthcare costs. that is a affordable healthcare act does. there are enormous savings from the implementation of the affordable care act.
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one of the purposes of that priority that the president has signed into law his first term is addressing the need to reduce our overall health care costs going forward. more needs to be done. the president has not just proposed this. he has signed into law more spending cuts than revenue increases. he has proposed in his various submissions to congress and negotiations with the speaker of the house entitlement reforms. he is leading on this issue. he understands this is important. we need to do it in a way that ensures that our economy can continue to grow. make sure we are getting the necessary investments in education, research, infrastructure. make sure that many years from
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now we will still have that powerful economic engine in this country that has been the envy of the world for many decades. as you know, when we achieved as a nation, budget surpluses for the first time in decades, it was the result of tough choices and leadership by president clinton and significant economic growth. that is why we cannot lose sight of the overall goal. we need an economy that is creating good, middle-class jobs. >> what was released or leaked this weekend might have damaged achieving reform. >> i will say couple of things. this is not an intentional release. that was clear by the fact that the white house reached out to the offices of those who are
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leading the effort on immigration reform in the senate. they made clear that our focus continues to be with the bipartisan effort underway in the senate to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. it is the president's preference that the process moves forward in the bipartisan group of numeral eight has a success and the produce a bill that wins the support of both parties in the senate and in the house. what i would note is that the blueprint the president has had on whitehouse.gov, there is a remarkable convergence of policy specifics between what the president supports and has supported in the senate and what the group of eight has been working on. we are hopeful that as denis
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mcdonough said this weekend that the senate will move forward. that is the best way for this to happen. we have made clear that we will appear legislation and submit it if that process in the senate fails. they want the process to succeed. >> will there be a proposal which is any mention of a future illegal immigration system that deals with guest workers and non-convex areas of immigration reform that are not related to border security? >> as denis mcdonough said on one of the shows this sunday to not propose our cement legislation -- >> future flow reforms? >> we have said that we would work with congress and the senate as they undertake these issues. if you look at the blueprint, the president's ideas are specific.
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further to my point and answer to your first question, our interest is seeing the senate process to be bipartisan. >> did you have a nice weekend? [laughter] >> i had a great weekend sledding with my children where there is no. -- snow. >> there is an independent report out today suggesting that there are billions of trade secrets that we are losing to china. the president put out an executive order. will this executive order put a a dent in that so we are not losing trades of secrecy? >> we are aware of the report that you are referring to. we are aware of the content. i will not talk about assessments. you are correct in noting the president's focus on this issue.
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it is a major challenge in the national security arena. we have growing concerns about the threats posed by cyber intrusions, including the theft of commercial information. we know foreign countries and companies -- we cannot look back years from now on wonder why we did not do nothing. that is why we are taking active approach to addressing the issue of cyber attacks. we have urged congress to pass a legislation. the president is taking all steps he can through the executive branch to make sure that we are safeguarding government networks and providing helpful and useful information for the air. -- sector. >> on the sequester, the president after the supercommittee failed, came to
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this room. republicans were talking about coming up with other ways to deal with it. the president said he would veto such a bill to come up with other cuts. how does he have the credibility to see the sequester would be awful if republicans were saying to find another deal to do a bit and he said he would veto that? >> you know that is not an actual account of what he was talking about. there were efforts to replace the sequester that would be have to fence and half nondefense with cuts only in nondefense. to be that would be half defense and half nondefense with cuts only in nondefense. speaker boehner and others -- the fact is that is an unfair and unbalanced approach. yes, we do not support him
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during the sequester any way that says we will double the number of kids out of head start and make double the amount of cuts in education and investments in research and development. we will cut doubled in mound of security along the borders. -- cut double the amount of security along the borders. we need to move forward with a more broader and balanced deficit reduction. we have been through this. they will represent something that everyone in this room knows does not represent a balanced approach . >> he signed into law -- does the white house say this is really balance? >> there is a proposal that represent significant compromise that was judged by outsiders that was meeting the
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republicans more than halfway on revenue and spending cuts. the house speaker walked away from that deal. that deal is still on the table. there were tough choices by this president when it comes to entitlements and spending cuts. the president has always sought a bigger deal. he has always sucked a bill or legislation that is balanced and would achieve that goal of trillions of dollars over 10 years. he continues to have hope that congress and republicans will take him up on the remainder of the proposal that he offered to the speaker that the speaker walked away from. in the meantime, we need to make sure that we do not let the sequester take affect with all of these devastating effects on first responders and kids in head start and our national
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security. it is mindless and reckless. we cannot have congress not doing the responsible thing. >> there has been a lot of commentary about a situation. the president will have a japanese prime minister coming in for a meeting. there is a lot going on in the japanese economy that has implications. there are disputes between china and japan. when the president meets with the japanese i minister, will he ask questions question mark -- with the japanese prime minister, will he ask questions ? >> the desire for more access, we work every day with you and others to provide that. we will continue to do that.
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i do not have a scheduling announcement for the event on friday. i would note that this is important that when it comes to news conferences where the president stands up for about an hour and takes your questions and allow reporters to go into issues, the president has given 35 of those. his predecessor gave 19. when it comes to interviews, the president has given 591 interviews since he took office. i think it is clear we are making an effort to provide access to make sure that the president is being questioned by reporters. we will continue to do that. >> over 500 issues -- >> over 400 were with television networks. >> there has been criticism that
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the innocent initiation -- that administration has not -- >> again, i doubt there has ever been holy satisfaction, but we work to make sure you have access to the president. i would note that when i was covering president urged of you bush, i was on his first -- president george w. bush, i was on his first trip. i covered the president and he never came back again. [indiscernible] [laughter] >> my ailing is that i have been there. -- i have been there. there have been periods demands restoration.
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--frustration. there was a state of rebellion over the situation. this is not uncommon. we are working everyday to provide the kind of access that we believe is an an essential part of the work you do. >> do the events of this weekend make you rethink transparency? >> the fact that the president wanted to play golf with the golf pro? >> not just what happened this weekend, but also the meetings that have been leaked to the press. >> you would have to be more specific. the president had some downtime and was playing golf. i understand that there is the desired to have access or afford a graph of that -- or a border graph of that -- photograph of that.
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that information was given by the white house press office. we do not control everyone who is reporting on the event, but no reporter had access that was different from the white house press corps in that matter. >> one more simpson-bowles. on the issue of entitlement, they are calling for $600 billion. $200 billion more than what you -- will you give more? >> the president wants a balanced approach in deficit reduction. it includes tax reform and reform and spending cuts. he has signed into law $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction. the president agrees with
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outside economists that have been saying this for a number of years that we need to achieve a target of $4 trillion over 10 years that will put us on a sustainable path that will reduce the size of our deficit and debt and has a ratio of gdp that will give us that the skull sustainability. this is an -- fiscal sustainability. this is an issue that we need to deal with. the proposals that the president has made will achieve that goal and do it in a way that allows the economy to continue to grow that does not punish seniors are asked middle-class seniors to bear the burden of deficit reduction alone. it would make the tax code fairer and simpler for everyone in the country. >> it is likely at this point the sequester will kick in. does the administration to share that view it will kick for
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a week or two? >> what the president made clear today is that it should not happen. there is no reason for it to happen. congress has within its power, republicans have it within their power, to agree that we should buy down the sequester for a certain amount of time to allow them to move forward with broader reductions for the budget process. if they do not do that, they will be making a choice to allow the sequester to take affect with all of the negative impacts we have talked about rather than accept the principle that corporate jet owners should give up their tax breaks and that oil and tax companies should no longer be subsidized by the taxpayer anymore. we ought to do things in a way that are balanced so we do not ask seniors and others to bear
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the burden of deficit reduction alone. >> the president says in the rules of the road of the economy, are they allowing others to steal secrets? >> first of all, i have no comment on that report and the specific allegations. i can tell you that we have repeatedly raised our concerns at the highest levels about cyber theft with senior chinese officials, including in the military. we will continue to do so. this is an important challenge. the president has been working on it and is urging congress to take action on it. he will continue to do that. the united states and china are among the world's largest cyber
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actors. he will continue to work together to develop an understanding of acceptable behavior in cyberspace. >> the president has given his executive order on cyber security. while the administration take more aggressive actions beginning today? >> i have no initiatives to announce today. this is an issue that has the attention of the president and senior levels of the national security team. it is something we are working on constantly. we will take necessary measures to enhance our cybersecurity and to assist the private sector. i have no measures to give you. >> any reaction to the report? >> i have given you an assessment of how our view of
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the problem is and when it comes to china, we have regularly raise this with chinese officials shared >-- officials. >> there is suggestion to move money around. maybe hitting green energy programs. if you mischaracterizing that? -- is he mischaracterizing that? >> the law is written the way it is and that is a lot of money in a short amount of time to not deal with the entire trillions of dollars in defense and non- discretionary spending. the fact of the matter is that you cannot do this in a way that would not have a tremendous effect. et's say you were to do that. does that mean you add another
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50,000 kids that he will throw off of head start? does that mean more border security agents that you furlough? the effects are highly harmful to the economy. it would result in hundreds of thousands of people having their jobs but at risk. it would do severe harm. >> it sounds like the money is in the account and you cannot move it -- >> mark. >> wellpoint was to come up with a plan that was a painful that no way -- it seems like they came up with a plan that was so painful and way that no one would want it to happen.
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>> there is a devastating effect. we should avoid it at all cost. i point you to an article that the speaker of the house that boasted he had the support of the republicans in the house to allow the sequester take effect. >> you can watch all of this in the c-span library at c- span.org. we will take you to remarks from the canadian ambassador. >> the of building canada u.s. relationship is why we are here. -- the revolving canada-u.s. relationship
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is why we are here. we are like at the newseum, located on america's main street, pennsylvania avenue, between the white house and the u.s. capitol building. the same stretch a real estate where you will find the canadian embassy, a testament to the closeness of the relationship between our two countries. welcome to those of you watching us on c-span and welcome to our audience here. i am peter van dusen from cpasc. it is great to have you here with us this evening. we have come to washington for the second time in as many years. a lot of change in two years. a lot has changed in two months. tonight our topic is -- the canada-u.s., what is the future?
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i think we can expect a lively conversation. this is the latest in the continuing collaboration between cpac and mclean. we have brought a guest -- guests, all people plug into the issues we are dealing with this evening. danielle droitsch is the cabinet -- the director of the canada program for the national resources defense program. she has worked in canada and united states for various environmental organizations. she is a former reporter and lawyer. ambassadoris canada's to the united states. he has been recognized by business week magazine as one of the world's top 20 international leaders on climate change. his job in washington is to
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report -- to represent canada's interests here. maryscott greenwood is a senior managing director in the washington office of a law firm. she is also the senior adviser to the canadian and american business council and has served as a u.s. diplomat at the end of the canadian capital. john manley is the chief executive of the canadian council of chief executives. he is a former canadian deputy prime minister, minister of finance, foreign affairs and trade and industry. he let canada's response to the 9/11 attacks -- he lead canada's response to the 911 attacks. paul wells is a former senior official with the u.s. energy department and was involved in negotiations for the u.s.-canada free trade agreement.
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luiza savage and paul wells. we will hear from all our guests and from our studio audience later. let's take the next five minutes and bringing -- bring context to this situation. >> on almost every level, the u.s.-canada relationship, though occasionally confident by the art storm, as the envy of the world. the world's largest two-way trade, mostly predictable allies and always dependable friends. some major changes on a rise and could present new challenges for the relationship. let's begin with energy. now nearly all of canada 's oil and gas exports are to the united states. ever% 10% of u.s. energy needs. that is about to change -- that
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represents about 10% of u.s. energy needs. that's about to change. >> after years of talking about it, we are poised to control our own energy future. >> some experts predict united states will be energy and attended by 2035. ow will that affect canada's $40 billion oil patch and will energy independence mean for u.s. foreign policy? what does it mean for pipelines? the canadian government is anxiously awaiting a decision from the white house on the proposed keystone xl pipeline. it would carry oil nearly 2,000 miles to refineries on the u.s. gulf coast. john kerry, who long campaign to cut greenhouse gas emissions, will ultimately recommend the approval or rejection of the pipeline to the president. he is not tipping his hand , his
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stand on the project -- his hand on where he stands on the project. >> we have a legitimate process on the way and i intend to honor that. >> those pipeline opponents gathered in washington by the thousands, calling on the president to reject keystone. >> if you let this pipeline go through, the first thing it runs over is the credibility of the president of the united states of america. >> what about the president himself? his recent comments on climate change suggest he is losing and does the as i'm -- he is losing enthusiasm for the program. what's the must do more to combat crime a change -- >> we must do more to combat climate change. >> strong action by canada on
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greenhouse emissions might soften opposition to the keystone project. >> the fact is the more that all of us do to strike that right balance between energy and the environment and climate change, the better off we can be. >> we are doing our part. i think the u.s., my counterparts are fully aware of how committed canada is to adjust climate change. >> is the president looking for cover from canada to approve the pipeline? canada and the united states have a long history of harmonizing environmental policies. but will canada follow suit if this president leads an aggressive new campaign against climate change that could hurt the canadian economy? >> if congress will not act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to
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reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. >> what about trade? two years ago the president and prime minister met. the new vision according to many has been mostly sidelined because the white house has had its sights set's on budget woes instead -- sights dget woeserica's bu instead. >> my only complaint about the united states is we pay a lot of attention to you, you sometimes did not pay enough attention to us. >> canada and the united states shared nearly $700 billion in two way trade in 2011.
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the united states is still the largest market for canadian exporters. experts predict a 2020, the united states will account for two-thirds of canadian exports. a decade ago.% canada's future prosperity will be driven by trey from countries other than the united states. the u.s. is looking beyond canada. >> we will launch a transatlantic trade partnership with the european union. trade that is fair and free across the not -- across the atlantic supports good american jobs. >> what the european union really wants is a deal with united states. on energy, the environment,
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trade, are the a decade of the most harmonious relationship between the u.s. and canada giving way to something closer to rivalry? >> so and number of different questions raised in that piece to get our conversation started. we will hear our guests in a moment. but we will kick off with paul wells. >> you know these filters we make take some planning. -- you to penh 00 yo know these field trips we make take some planning. the morning papers awful of the debate about whether the keystone pipeline to go through. but it comes down is the president has a decision to make. our american hosts might not be aware of this decision about the keystone has transfixed canadian
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politics over the past year and a half. when mr. obama became the president, there were high hopes on the canadian side for help the relationship between the two. their politics are not similar but there from the same generation and there are both outsiders. unfortunately over the first two years of the obama presidency, it became clear they are not out -- not alike in do not agree on anything. as it obama's -- president obama's decision to delay on the keystone. mr. harper implement a major pivot and a canadian trade policy away from the united states and toward china. he dropped the keystone as a party and picked up another
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pipeline, nor the way, which seeks to ship oil to the specific coast so we can go to china -- to the pacific coast so we can go to china. there is possibility president obama can fix the relationship by deciding to proceed with the key some pipeline but there's also a possibility is too late. and that our government has moved on. from what i have read, the decision the president has to make is tricky. it is not clear how it will go. does that sound right to you? >> when i look at the future of canada-u.s. relations, i see it as two separate planes and they go in the opposite directions. the best analogy is that they are headed towards an open marriage. you have these two partners and they started out with this great, fat wedding.
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a great honeymoon, everything was great and exciting. now we are at a point where people are looking around for sexier partners. in the are looking at china and seeing the appetite their fair energy. they are looking at the rest of asia and europe and seeing attractive opportunities elsewhere. there is this other piece of their relationship, security. that has to do with protecting not just the borders from terrorists but on -- everything from protecting children from lead in their toys, the quality of water, the environment. all these things, they still have to come back, saturday morning and deal with these household issues. the only way to do it is to work
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more closely together. you can't secure your ever structure -- your infrastructure without working together. i see these two different directions. as the contras have a working together, they keep coming up against the bottom line limit for each country -- as these countries are working together, they keep coming up against the bottom line limit for each country. the united states said we feel the need to import a passport requirement at the border. canada said that will ruin trade and tourism. and said no, this is where we draw the line. the same thing goes for cooperation on border security were canada has issues of privacy protection and this a this is where we draw the line. that is how i see the keystone
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debate. a line drawing exercise for the united states. they are having a domestic debate about what role carbon and energy will play in the future, how they will balance tracking and climate change and to additional sources of energy against alternative energy. that is all being worked out by other presidents. i do not see it just as about the relationship. does the prime minister let the president today? in the broader context of working out limits we cannot talk to each other out of. >> let's start with gary doer. how do you see the future? >> i don't believe in and a look -- in an open relationship. i cannot keep up with the racing comments of my colleague but i do believe it is like a company
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in terms of our relationship on trade. you have to take care of your biggest and most important customer first but you should not just have one customer. you should then go to a car dealership and not go to another car dealership and get a better price. we are always getting different unilateral decisions. by increasing our trade to asia, 20% one year, 20% the next the year, we are stronger as a housing market rises in the united states and in terms of negotiating peace in trade agreements. and we are more diversified in terms of our customers. that does not mean you first take your biggest customers. on trade, i see it in a multi dimensional way. but you start with the largest customer base. in terms of the land we share,
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we have worked together over the generations of cleaner air and water. the start of the 16 countries and now is at 165 countries. copenhagen, both the prime minister and the president attended the summer of 2009 signed on to the same 17% reduction by 2020. which was a positive development. we worked together on vehicle emissions standards. we worked together on black carbon in terms of its impact in the arctic and came to an agreement with secretary of state clinton. canada has moved ahead on kohl but i suspect -- on coal but i suspect the president will get an agreement on the hill or will proceed with executive action on potentially coal which is
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behind vehicles is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. on energy security, the president promised during the election, since the election, that he would make united states energy independence from venezuela and the middle east in 10 years. he meant that promise in 2008. as to the president as being able to achieve both comic -- both climate change reductions with the programs he has put in place. he is able to achieve energy independence from the middle east and metal -- middle east and venezuela by looking at his neighborhood, mexico and canada. we see keystone as in the national interests of the united states under the law because it displaces oil from venezuela. >> danielle droitsch.
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>> i appreciate having the opportunity to talk about the relationship with canada and the united states. it is a long relationship. there is a conversation with in the united states. we are -- the united states is focused right now on the conversation on climate. last year was the hottest year on record. we have been facing some extreme weather. we have seen 50% have lost. 60% of pasture land has been lost. we have seen some of the most extreme hurricanes we have ever seen. one of those was hurricane sand y which cost 130 lives and over
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$80 billion. this has prompted something internally and the president to look closely at the importance of looking at climate and confronting climate change. as a result, that is having ramifications for what happens in the canada. canada and the u.s. share of the largest order in the world. we have over $600 billion in trade, 300,000 crossing the border every day. and that is not going to change. sometimes neighbors and friends need to have conversations. i think that is what is happening right now. the two countries are having a tough conversation about the energy future and some of that as a round the keystone pipeline. this pipeline is 800,000
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barrels a day. for that reason, it signals a direction for the united states. it is an export pipeline so there is a concern about whether it supports u.s. security. that is the conversation i hope canadians -- there is an opportunity for both countries to take leadership together and tackle climate change. that is what the president said in the inaugural address. there is an opportunity to look at how both countries can meet the target. there are concerns that canada is not a climate leader. we can talk more about that.
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but there is opportunity for both countries to tackle climate change, the world a signal that north america is prepared to start looking at these issues. an openingleym, comment. >> i will start in a different place. i start with the depth and complexity of the relationship between canada and the u.s.. last year, the nobel prize committee awarded the peace prize to the european union, celebrating almost 70 years of peace. we are celebrating 200 years of peace against a long and porous
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border. we built a relationship. i am not sure i will buy into the analogy of marriage, open or otherwise. we are more like twins separated at birth in some ways. but our parents always liked us best. whether it is in the economy or energy and other resources, we are in this endeavor together. we share a point of view on almost every issue. the differences tend to be nuanced rather than deep or profound. there are a couple of rules of political life in canada. for the prime minister, one of
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his two important responsibilities is to manage the relationship with the united states. the other is to preserve national unity. when you look at that, there are two rules. closer one, don't get too to the united states. rule number two, don't get too far from the united states. various prime ministers have had difficulty managing that balance. i work for prime minister cretin. it was get united nations to agree and we will support it. lots of people in the canada and u.s. said what is he doing, he is preaching the terms of the french.
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many people on both sides of the border are not sure he was wrong about that. of the prime minister's having criticized for being too close to the united states. prime minister -- he saw that as something his predecessor did. he preferred to go golfing. but that was part of staying close to him. maybe there is a big discussion right now about a pipeline i will argue about the way it is cast. i think it is tactically an error for the environmental movement in the united states to be focused on a pipeline. if it is refused, it gives people the notion that we have done what we needed to do. when identified it does nothing
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on demand. it reduces demand in the united itates -- when in fact i does nothing on demand. it reduces demand in the united states. i thuink we can -- think we can work around the pipeline issue, recognizing that our relationship is one that stands us together more than a part. as we see the rise of asia, i atnk we need to be looking the north american base upon which we will be able to succeed in the growing asian market both as exporters and producers and customers. >> picking up on the conundrum,
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agree u.s. ambassador called this the goldilocks conundrum. i think it into recent years, our countries have gotten at about right. i have to disagree that it's gone off the rails. beyond the border initiative -- it has a report card. several things. had been things. mutual recognition of air cargo, done, sign the canada u.s. visa sharing agreement, done, pilot project for radio and opera ability, done, joint statement of privacy principles, done. that is not to mention the work being done on regulatory cooperation. meaningful work is being done on that front. the reason i think those two
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initiatives have made so much progress is because they face a common dramatic event which is what happened to our economy. there is a realization that our countries are interlinked. we need to climb out of the economical collaborative lee. i want to say one word about the keystone project. climate challenges are urgern.t nt. i would also agree with john. focusing on the keystone pipeline does not actually help decrease demand in the united states or do anything to decrease u.s. greenhouse gas emissions. if you send -- if the oil is getting developed anyway and the
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u.s. will still be importing and least 3-7 million barrels a day in 2035, there will still be a need for fossil fuels, including those coming from canada. focusing on keystone is a misplaced focus. >> thank you. >> i want to pick up on the energy dimension. and what is going on throughout america. we are going through a transformation we have never seen in our lifetime. we are finding weaker access to oil and gas and costs that were unthinkable and to the -- invincible in the past three -- that were unthinkable in the
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past. politicians would talk about that. those of us analysts would say sure, go on. it is now something that may happen in the u.s. since. more likely in the sense of north america. that is one of the things we need to look at. what will happen in this north american context? we have a real opportunity to have an advantage globally in terms of having access to chief -- to keep natural gas. also the ability to export oil that will allow us to reduce the payments being made to foreign countries. how we officially do that? the negotiations we have to the first cannon the u.s. trade agreement.
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how do we make the border disappear out of that so these markets can optimize themselves in the most efficient manner? we have refineries on the gulf coast of the united states that are very good at defining the type of oil produced in canada. the values it is created is very high. that is the whole commercial logic behind the keystone pipelines. i would probably disagree with the idea that it is an export pipeline. it is not the same, saying it might be exported as crude from the gulf coast which makes no sense to the producers. we are exporting products now. they would come from crude coming from venezuela. it is important to look at how
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we improve the efficiency to provide the base system and the economy while we are building this feature towards a low carbon economy. it takes a long time to change over and have a low carbon energy future. if we can make that transformation through efficiency regulations, perhaps put a price on carbon, it would be a good idea. on the keystone pipeline, this is a battle in the u.s.. i do not think too many people thought out canada. it came after the defeat in the senate of any kind of comprehensive legislation. there was nothing to rally all around. this gave an opportunity to rally around a specific project where the was a decision to be made by the secretary of state and the president. the assessment that it does not really matter is a good one,
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because that was going to get developed. whether now or 10 years from now, as though concentrates greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. on the environmental side, it was held up to much. on the energy security side, the idea that we are creating millions of jobs is also an overweight. transcanada is the only company that knows how many jobs they will create. the rest is an effort at creating numbers that will please everyone who wants to hear it. it is important keep in mind both sides have tried to make this an iconic type product that would settle both the use when in reality, it is just another pipeline. >> thank you. to bring some structure to the conversation, in terms of
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dealing with the topics before us, we want to focus on energy and it is hard to divorce them from the environmental or climate change issues. the big issue before us is clearly the pipeline. gary, the canadian prime minister said a few years ago the approval of the pipeline is a no-brainer. how has it become such headaches? >> the senator from louisiana said also it is a no-brainer because it is displacing oil from venezuela. that is the fundamental issue of the national interests of united states. two years ago when the state department looked at this, the
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and i waited that canadian oil in 2% higher in ghg's than venezuelan crude. moreears later, it's even -- even better as a product for displacement. the point that is missed a lot in the debate here in washington -- this also includes $180,000 -- 150,000 barrels a day. the unintended consequences of blocking the pipeline will be continued sales from venezuela to the united states and i believe the number of trucks and trains has gone from 12% two
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years ago to 60%. so tghhe the missions are going up with trucks and trains as an unintended consequence of this pipeline not been approved. i agree with the prime minister and mary landreiu. when you look at it, the venezuelan oil, less dependency on the middle eastern oil, oil ioon trucks and trains and on te pipeline is deemed to be a lot sicker -- to be a lot safer. >> let's open up the conversation. danielle. >> i would like to start with the climate emissions and why
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is keystone of priority? there clearly -- some of it is a misunderstanding. it is not about one pipeline or one source of climate emissions we're concerned about. groups like bnnrtc, -- like nrtc, we have people working on fuel efficiencies, local communities. many in canada have no idea about the other work. we haven't -- an entire campaign for a cleaning up coal powered plants. we are trying to get president obama to adopt new regulations. it is one of the biggest campaigns for our organization. we view the crime issue as far bigger than the oil domitian's. it is about going after all the
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emissions. united states is the largest carbon a matter -- carbon emitter. but the united states brings in more oil from canada than any other foreign country. that is growing. the type of oil is more carbon intensive. this pipeline is a major source of carbon emissions. the conventional wisdom that the oil will be developed anyway, we reject. that is one of the things people need to realize. we believe that right now, canada does not have that opportunity to get their oil out. if he were to look at any industry analyst right now, they are saying in the canadian press that keystone is significant.
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it is very important to enable the oil industry to expand production. the concern we have is with expansion. and the rapid pace and growth of the industry. in 1995, the industry said will grow to 1.5 million barrels a day. now we are hearing plans about 9 million barrels a day. that is a concern. largest forcanada's a source of oil -- you said canada is the largest orgein foreignf oil -- source of oil. >> we need to drive down oil consumption altogether. >> how's that going?
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>> it is going well. in part because there is a dual addition to regulation. >> fuel the efficiency standards, we negotiated them together. that is the most radical reduction in ghg's for both countries in the last 30 years. the president and prime minister give very little credit from your membership and environmental for taking that action. i think that is too bad. >> what would it take for china to actually want to take and refine the oil? the pipeline were built, is china in a position to take it and refine it?
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>> president significant investment in a tiny refineries. it will not take long for them to act on the upgrading equipment needed to do that. now, it is not clear how much they could take. in terms of the top line, -- the pipeline, the thing we are seeing is the reappearance of oil being moved to market by a lot of methods never imagined. we are taken balkan oil by rail across to the delaware river, transferring. it to transferring. the reason of space in the margins that are available there to do that -- there is enough space in the margins that are available there to do that.
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there is a proposal to look a railing up to the port in alaska. i would agree that stopping keystone will perhaps slow the development process of the oil sands. but we have to look at the totality of what gets developed over the time frame. going toee that you're limit the amount that it developed over time by stopping one pipeline. there are many other ways. the point about the work on dealing with climate change in terms of fuel efficiency, there is very important work and have not gotten the same kind of attention that something like taking on the keystone issue would be able to rally around. i think that is why you've seen
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such a focus in the news for the keystone pipeline. the real guy will work is the work on fuel-efficient standards. >> let's talk about recent comments in canada, the u.s. ambassador to canada and find that more action by canada on climate change might make it easiieer for the president to approve keystone. how did you interpret those comments? >> i think it was another opportunity to talk about what we are doing. doing i believe for the president and for canada, it is both. you can actually improve energy security and in our neighborhood of north america and with vehicle emissions standards,
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called plant standards -- coal plants standards, you will eventually see that in the united states. nobody is replacing a coal plant with coal again. they are replacing it with natural gas. it reduces emissions by 50%. i did not see that as a quid pro quo. when the secretary of state and our minister of foreign affairs met and had a press conference, they talked about both climate change and energy security. we talked about vehicle emissions standards. th ministere talked about the action we've taken had the the united states on coal plants in canada. i closed down some coal plants.
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i thought it was good for our jurisdiction but i think energy efficiency is crucial. energy-efficient homes, buildings, cars, trucks. those are issues of aerospace and how to remake steps in that direction. i feel confident both canada and united states will achieve this copenhagen charter and achieve energy independence in north america by 2020. that is great for this neighborhood. >> what is the effect on the canada-u.s. relationship of the product is turned down? -- if the project is turned down? canadians willnk be impressed if the project is turned down. if it will do something to
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reduce greenhouse emissions in the united states, maybe you could make the argument. the fact -- in terms of jobs estimates, we know 4,000 people today are working on the southern portion of the key xl project. so i will say more than 4000 will work on the upper portions. alberta has reduced its carbon intensity and emissions since 1990. industry is being driven to make improvements in technology in the way they use water and the way they get the oil out of the sand. it is not all about mining anymore. it's not enough, i am not apologizing for the carbon and
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tensity but you have to look accrued coming out of bakersfield, california. how does that relate to crude coming out of alberta? canadians would not be happy if the keystone is turned down, just as if it would not be happy if we have renewal will portfolio standards that do not recognize clean hybrid. keystone is the first option that -- first option to get the crude to the refineries. that does not mean it is the only option for canadians. there are least two pipelines to the west being looked at. project. one west west east the market will determine how this goes. if we make the mistake of not doing this project, the oil will get to other places.
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where it will be refined in an environmental situation where it will be burned in cars that did not have anything close to the u.s.-canada standards. >> we all listen to the president's state of the ness address any talk about taking action on climate change if the congress did not act. obviously he is thinking about things other than that he's done. -- than the keystone. >> a lot of people have been watching. i think canadians would like to that agreement happen as well but has not. it has been a real frustration. as a result, we are not
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expecting congress to come up with an agreement. there has been a focus on what can a president obama did -- what can president obama do? keystone is not the only thing we're talking about in united states. the rest in regulation proposed -- there has been new regulation proposed. that will be where we can make an executive order happened urate also the executive opportunity does extent to keystone. the president has an opportunity there. looking at existing carbon pollution and united states, we have to tackle that. we look niki tsongas future
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carbon emmission -- we look at keystone as future carbon emissions. the opportunity here is for the country to work on their climate climate -- on their climate target together. this should not be a figure pointing exercise -- a finger pointing exercise. can canada and united states meet their targets? i think canada has further to go but that can be done gary >> the canadian government has said they're going to come out with regulations for the oil and gas sector. we are waiting to see what they are. if they came out with strong regulations that would meet those targets, what groups like yours say that is great? would it make any difference to the opposition to this project?
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>> we are interested in time a policy and the canada. we are very interested in those regulations and we will look closely. with all due respect to the ambassador, we do not view those kohl regulations as strong. what we would like to see is some strong regulations around the oil sector. that would be very useful. we are looking at the u.s. focus, not just the canadian focus. >> there is a fantastic quote in the setup video -- i think the
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americans know how serious we are on climate change. the americans. noted that -- the american have noted that they were less stringent than the canadian industry have asked for. the natural resources minister said in the event the americans bring in a carbon tax, we will not. canadian policy on climate change has been to take whatever policy obama can get through congress. it was smart because as it turned out, he has not been able to get much through. in the past few months, the industry has indicated it will no longer take american policy on climate change. they have signaled we are willing to grab the competitive advantage that comes from having a dirtier energy sector the americans. >> those are characterization's
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that are easily disputed. i want to go back to the oil sands. when canada began developing them in the late 1960's, there was no way you could do without economic. this has been from the very beginning a very expensive project around research and innovation to get from the point you could extract the substance and refine it and sell it at a reasonably competitive price. at the same time, the emissions that are being caused by that are going down sharply. you now have with the most recent projects, a product that is on par with what is
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being produced in conventional sources. ow aretend it is somehnow static element and is really dirty. nobody is turning themselves to the white house fence about oil coming out of california. you have to put it in that brought context. there is no country on earth have in the resource that canada has, that would fail to develop it. we cannot carry be needed. we need the jobs that come from it, the revenue. we can look as rationally.
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not because we are making it impossible for one preferred source to produce but we're finding ways to technology and to price signals. alberta has a carbon tax which is a current market rate about twice what it is in europe. we have to figure out how we do this together. the real challenge to prosperity and jobs in north america as not competing between us war among ourselves. it's looking around the world and say how we build a competitive base in north america? >> to pick up on those points, i totally agree that is a resource that no government can walk away from and say we will forgo this. you are seeing the pressure
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being greeted by the price differentials. that means government has returned to its major research to be able to start seeing if they can make up the difference. that pressure will keep growing. i do think the idea is we need to focus on the demand side and pushed the efficiency standards. not just in north america. we are working pretty hard at this. it takes a long time to turn over the stock. we also have to look globally. that is where the u.s. and canada can be working together. the demand for the future is in asia. that is where, if we become energy independent, it is not just producing more but we are producing -- we are consuming less. i've heard my bosses tell me that is what we need to be.
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we have to recognize is that global drive. climate change is a global problem. we need to focus on where we can have the greatest impact. >> what is the timeline for getting -- if we look at it in the context of some of the commentary coming from the united states, if you were to move forward on the regulations for the big emmitters. what is the timeline? let the between now and maybe june? >> you hear a lot of different reports about when the u.s. will make its decision on the keystone. it will be 90-120 days after the draft eis is issued by the state department. it was not issued today. you can make some calculations
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on timing. i've heard first quarter, second, third, fourth. i know they work very hard on getting the cold relations -- the coal regulations. it will in essence close down every plant in canada. most coal plants will be goine ne in canada. i think they're working very hard on it. 2011, the state department reports on ghg's relative to american ghg's. 17%.d it at the latest numbers have it
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% on en 9 $ and 11 $ o average, lower the california thermal. comparable to venezuelan crude it is replacing. it was 10 to 1 20 years ago. the new technology is half a barrel to 1. ethanol is 3 barrels to 1 and that's a very important distinction between oil sands, which is half a barrel of water to 1 with the new technology. >> what's happening with our discussion t